21st Century Fox Inc.'s quarterly profit nearly doubled as its cable-television and film units posted  (21st century fox)significant gains, overcoming a subdued performance in the broadcast-TV unit.

The results come as Fox looks to close a $71 billion sale of entertainment assets to Walt Disney Co. Disney has agreed to purchase assets including Fox's film and television studios as well as media (21st century fox) company Star India and European pay-TV giant Sky PLC. Disney, which initially agreed to buy the Fox assets in December, raised its offer following a bidding war with Comcast Corp.

The cable networks unit, home to Fox News and the Fox Sports 1 network, drove the quarter's results with an 11% increase in domestic affiliate fee revenue, which is the money collected from pay-TV (21st century fox) distributors to carry Fox's channels. Operating income before depreciation and amortization rose 12%.

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The filmed entertainment division, which includes the Twentieth Century Fox studio, swung to a $289 (21st century fox)  million operating profit, helped by the theatrical release of "Deadpool 2" from a year-earlier loss of $22 million.

The broadcast-TV unit, which includes the Fox broadcast network, continued to struggle with a 23% drop in operating profit, though revenue rose 14%, boosted by the broadcast of the FIFA World Cup.

For the fourth quarter ended June 30, Fox reported profit of $920 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with $476 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, the company's profit (21st century fox) from continuing operations was 57 cents a share, up from 36 cents a share a year earlier.

Fox's revenue rose 18% to $7.94 billion from a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters (21st century fox)  had projected 54 cents a share in adjusted profit and $7.56 billion in revenue.

Disney would become a majority owner of streaming-video service Hulu if the Fox deal closes. On Wednesday, Fox reported its equity investment in Hulu, whose owners also include Comcast's (21st century fox) NBCUniversal, resulted in a loss of $127 million in the June quarter, compared with a year-earlier loss of $54 million.


Control of Sky remains an open question. Fox is seeking to purchase the 61% it doesn't already own,(21st century fox)  but Comcast has submitted a higher offer valuing Sky at GBP25.9 billion ($33.5 billion), or GBP14.75 a share. The jockeying and bidding could continue in coming weeks.(21st century fox)


Executive Chairmen Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch highlighted Fox's financial performance in (21st century fox) the year ended June 30 as the company moves closer to completing the Disney deal and establishing the new Fox.